Video of paraglider thrown off a cliff in Manilla by dust devil, lands in Moree five hours later

TERRIFYING: The paraglider was swept off a cliff in Manilla by a dust devil while his wife looked on.
TERRIFYING: The paraglider was swept off a cliff in Manilla by a dust devil while his wife looked on.

TERRIFYING footage has emerged of a paraglider caught in a dust devil in Manilla.

Thrown off Mt Borah by a small dust tornado while an onlooker screams, the paraglider was blown along for five hours before landing in Moree.

Manilla Paragliding chief flying instructor Godfrey Wenness was on the scene at around 11:30am when the dust devil swept through.

“There were about 40 pilots half set up for takeoff, they all yelled out 'dust devil’ and jumped on their wings,” he said.

“It’s like when you hear the word, ‘shark’ at the beach, everyone jumped on but his wasn’t held down enough and it ripped him off.”

The man is an experienced pilot and the video was taken by his wife who screamed, “Careful!” as he was swept over the cliff.

The group was setting up for a cross country flight from Mt Borah when a dust devil rapidly formed in the hot conditions and raced across the launch area, Mr Wenness said.

“[It] had pilots and helpers scrambling to hold down their gliders,” he said.

“Despite the best efforts of the pilot and another helper, the powerful dust devil inflated the glider and picked him up along with some launch mats.”

The man was lifted 10 metres up and swirled around before he was ejected out to the side of the fast moving dust devil.

The pilot regained control of the glider and continued on a “relatively uneventful” five-hour, 180km cross-country flight.

The man escaped unscathed by the incident and the paraglider is reportedly in good condition, too.

Dust devils are rotating intense updrafts of air and typically occur on hot dry days in certain atmospheric conditions.

They can often be seen inland over dusty paddocks over the summer months and occasionally develop on mountain tops. Paraglider pilots are taught the risks and avoid flying in or near dust devils.

Landing safely in Moree five hours later, the video now has millions of hits online.

Watch the frightening footage below

Footage of paraglider being swept off a cliff in Manilla